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In Praise of the Puppy

A compilation examining our compulsion with man’s and woman’s best friend
by Terri Schlichenmeyer

You simply could not resist, even though you always thought that getting a dog was something that required forethought and planning. After all, getting a dog meant getting a best friend, a workout companion, a burglar alarm, or a child substitute—surely not an impulse item.

And then you saw that fur-baby. And you simply couldn’t resist.

Now that little Sophie or Brutus has settled in, though, the question remains: who now runs the house? As you’ll see in the new book I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship, a book of short stories edited by openly gay author Wade Rouse, you’re not the only one who answers with “The dog does.”

Without a doubt, your pooch is a member of your family. She sleeps with you. You share your food with him. You might even dress your dog in better duds than you have in your own closet. The relationship you have with Puppykins might be stronger than your relationship with most humans. Surely you can’t be the only demented dog-lover in the world . . . can you?

Not by a long shot.

Let’s say you couldn’t ignore the dog that seemed to need you more than anything in the world—but the second you got her home, she turned into a tornado with fangs. If that describes your household, then flip to “Squatting with Stella by Starlight” by Allie Larkin. Think a minute, and you might realize that you need the pup more than the pup needs you.

Like many puppy parents, you might share a bed with the furkid. But whose bed is it, really? In “Ménage a Dog” by Alice Bradley, you’ll see that battling Buster for bed real-estate is a common occurrence in lots of households.

Can’t tolerate a beggar? You might as well give up after reading “A Dog Day of Summer” by W. Bruce Cameron because—seriously—how long can you say no to those big, sad, hungry eyes? And how can you resist using babytalk? You can’t, so go ahead—read “Dum-Diddle-Dum-Dum” by Wade Rouse and “There’s No Place Like Home, Judy” by openly gay comedian Alec Mapa, and know you’re in good company.

Finally, if you ever truly wonder whether that pooping, shedding pile of fur really loves you, then stop and read “Wuzsha, Wuzsha, Wuzsha” by Eddie Sarfaty. And pass the tissues, please.

Are you daft over doggies? Crazy about canines? Moonstruck over mutts? Then you’re going to sit up and beg for this book.

Author and editor Wade Rouse pulled together more than 20 authors, including Rita Mae Brown (and Chelsea Handler’s dog, Chunk, who wrote the foreword), and comedians (including Bob Smith) to create a treasury that’s definitely funny but that also has its serious side. I howled, I whined, I yipped, and I was glad I fetched this book.

If you’re a dog lover (and you must be, if you’ve read this far), you won’t be able to resist reading what’s in here. I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship is a book to fall head over tail in love with.

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was three years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.


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Terri Schlichenmeyer

Terry Schlichenmeyer is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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